Adidas to Sell Remaining Yeezy Sneakers, Donate Proceeds to Charity
Adidas has decided what to do with its millions of leftover Yeezy sneakers.
The firm will sell the $1 billion worth of products and donate the proceeds to charity, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Thursday (May 11), citing a presentation by Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden at the company’s annual general meeting.
Adidas did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.
Adidas joined Gap and other businesses and brands in severing ties with its partner in the Yeezy product line, musician-turned-fashion entrepreneur Kanye West, in October following the well-publicized controversy around West.
Gulden joined Adidas as CEO in November, leaving rival shoe brand Puma, where he had been CEO since 2013.
Adidas had been facing three challenging years due to the pandemic and geopolitical tensions and had said in October that its profits would be down for the year because of lower-than-anticipated sales and an overload of inventory.
The company then found itself in the middle of a public feud with West and cut all ties with him after he made antisemitic remarks on a podcast and his Twitter feed.
Adidas said in financial guidance released in February that its breakup with West could lead to a revenue loss of about $1.3 billion in 2023.
The sportswear company said at the time that not selling its Yeezy inventory would lower operating profit by about $534 million and result in a break-even operating profit.
Should it decide not to repurpose any of the existing Yeezy inventory, its operating profit would be lowered by another $534 million this year, it would incur one-off costs of about $214 million, and it would report an operating loss of about $748 million for the year, Adidas said in the February financial guidance.
Gulden said Thursday at the annual general meeting that during the months of considering what to do with the sneakers, Adidas had thought about destroying them.
“What we are trying to do now over time is to sell parts of this inventory and donate money to the organizations that are helping us and that were also hurt by Kanye’s statements,” Gulden said, per the WSJ report.
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